Letter to the Leaders: Dear Mr Jimmy Carter...

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 23:44:39 -0000

Dear Mr James Carter 

I?m sure you must have had a lot of mail of recent. Hope you find time
to read this letter. When you were president nobody thought much of you.
But since leaving the White House you sure have been lauded. And now the
ultimate accolade, the Nobel Prize for peace. You were the only US
president since 1945 never to order American soldiers into combat. The
American electorate weren?t too impressed with that fact - you were a
one-term president. But those guy?s over in Scandinavia, they love you.
They said of you "In a situation currently marked by threats of the use
of power, Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must as far
as possible be resolved through mediation and international cooperation
based on international law, respect for human rights and economic
development." 

The Nobel committee recognise the fact that after losing to Ronald
Reagan, you didn?t grow bitter like Nixon, or waste your life on the
golf course like Ford. Instead you became a globe-trotter for ?peace?.
They say you helped to defuse growing nuclear tensions in Korea, and
helped to avert an American invasion of Haiti back in 1994. In May this
year, you became the first American president to visit Cuba since
Coolidge in 1930. Whilst the Bush administration was accusing Cuba of
producing biological weapons, you proclaimed that you where "?a friend
of the Cuban people". I?m sure many people admire you for that kind of
talk. 

But, there is one thing troubling me. It?s concerning your, acclaimed,
efforts in the field of election-monitoring. You know, your job of
over-seeing voting procedures. This job has taken you to places such as
Eritrea and Nicaragua. You should be a bit of an expert on elections. If
I?m not mistaken, you yourself had a rough ride during your election
contest. Those boys Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Paul Wolfowitz,
worked hard to get their rightwinger Ronald Reagan in. They pilloried
you for "weakness" and sought, successfully, to have US opposition to
new wars branded a ?disease?. That old "Vietnam syndrome". Didn?t you
feel bitter about all that? Surely you of all people know what those
guys are capable of. I say that because, unlike you, these boys are back
on the block. I am sure you know what I?m talking about. You educated so
many people, from less developed nations, as to what democracy is all
about. People know you as the one whose very job description is to stamp
out election fraud and corruption. People see you as the one with the
power to bring true and fair elections where previously only corruption
had prevailed. So, why weren?t you down there in Dade county Florida, in
2000? Your country needed you. Don?t you feel you let your party down?
Don?t you feel you let your country down? 

It might be a bit late now for you to do anything, but can I just bring
to your attention some of the election peculiarities that you should
have spotted. 

Back in the summer of 1999 Katherine Harris, George W. Bush's
presidential campaign co-chairman, paid $4 million to Database
Technologies to go through Florida's voter register and remove anyone
"suspected" of being a former felon. Harris was the Florida secretary of
state in charge of elections. So she is another American who knows a lot
about the voting process. She did all this with the approval of the
governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. Florida?s law stated that ex-felons
cannot vote - thus 31 percent of all black men in Florida were
prohibited from voting because they had a felony on their record. I?m
sure you know that Black Floridians, overwhelmingly, vote Democrat. This
was demonstrated when Al Gore did receive the votes of more than 90
percent of them on November 7, 2000. That is, 90 percent of those who
were allowed to vote. In your opinion was this a mass electoral fraud?
From where I?m standing its looks like it. But you?re the expert. They
not only removed thousands of black felons from the register, they also
removed thousands of law abiding black citizens. 

The result was that 173,000 registered voters in Florida were
permanently wiped off the electoral rolls. In Dade county, Florida's
largest county, 66 percent of the voters who were removed were black. In
Tampa county, 54 percent of those who would be denied the right to vote,
were black. 

There were all manner of dirty tricks played out in down there in
Florida. Too numerous to mention. But I?m sure you know all about them.
However the net results was that a President was elected who got a
minority of the votes. The New York Times summed up some of the
shenanigans in Florida: 

-344 ballots had no evidence that they were cast on or before Election
Day 
-183 ballots were postmarked in the United States 
-96 ballots lacked appropriate witness information 
-169 ballots came from unregistered voters, had envelopes that weren't
signed properly, or came from people who hadn't requested a ballot 
-5 ballots came after the November 17 deadline 
-19 overseas voters voted on two ballots - and had both counted 

All of these ballot violated Florida law, yet they all were counted. To
cut a long story short I think Florida was one big election fraud. But
I?m no expert, you are. What do I know about the Electoral College
system. As far as I see it, it seems that American Citizen?s don?t
actually vote directly for their own president. That can?t be the right
understanding can it? I don?t claim to fully understand these matters,
but I'm sure most American?s understand how it all works. Especially
with you in their country to educate them about democracy. I take it for
granted that you are aware of everything that I have mentioned about
Miami-Dade. But I just wanted to see what you had to say about it all.
You are the World?s most famous adviser on these issues. Because you
allowed all this to go on in front of your very eyes, it makes you in
some way responsible for George W Bush?s Presidency. Yes, its you, its
your fault! Perhaps I?m being too hard on you. After all, not even you
can fight the system. If the Supreme Court wants to terminate the
laborious procedure counting ballots, and doing democracy, what can you
do about it. If the system just decides to hand the election to George
W. Bush, there?s nothing that you can do. You know the system as well as
anyone. I remember back when you ran things, at the time of the energy
crisis, you said; ?The reason for the Constitution was to empower people
of property over common people. Indeed, our definition of self
government and freedom have become linked, if not equated, to the
interests of the corporation.? 

But anyway going back to your award, you have joined the ranks of Nelson
Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Willy Brandt, Aung San Suu Kyi and that
other new comer Kofi. Don?t you feel a little out of place amongst them,
knowing that it was you that let George W Bush into the office that you
once occupied. There?s a lot of talk of war now. Some may hold you
responsible because you stood by and let Bush in. That?s not necessarily
my view. But can I ask, when you cash the Nobel Cheque for £600,000
won?t you feel guilty? 

Dr Salim Fredericks 

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